in New York, New York

Many women who experience painful symptoms or abnormal bleeding often find that it’s the result of fibroids. Fortunately, these can often be manageable with the help of your gynecologist, whether using at-home methods or minimally-invasive surgery.

What are Fibroids?

Fibroids (also called leiomyomas) are non-cancerous tumors that grow in the uterus. Fibroids are common in pre-menopausal women, and most fibroids are small and do not cause any symptoms— in fact, some women may accidentally find out they have fibroids during an ultrasound or CT scan. However, women with larger fibroids may have symptoms of pelvic pain and pressure. Fibroids of any size can cause heavy periods that last longer than a week, as well as bleeding between periods.

Why are Fibroids Important?

Although most fibroids are non-cancerous, they can still cause difficult symptoms if they are significant in size. Many women begin to experience symptoms like cramping and long menstrual cycles without realizing there may be an underlying cause. For this reason, it’s important to speak with your gynecologist if you experience symptoms like pain during sex, lower back pain, urinary problems, or fertility concerns along with cramping and heavy bleeding.

How Can My Gynecologist Help?

If you are told that you have a fibroid, you do not necessarily need to have surgery to remove it or your uterus. Small fibroids that are not causing any symptoms of bleeding and pain can be monitored with periodic ultrasounds. There are medical treatments that can manage heavy, irregular bleeding related to fibroids. In many cases, women with small fibroids can still have uncomplicated pregnancies.

What If I Need Surgery?

A myomectomy (surgery to remove one or more fibroids) may be recommended in women with heavy periods and severe pelvic pain which is not controlled by medical treatment. This may be a good option for women who wish to become pregnant in the future, or do not want to have their uterus removed. A myomectomy may also be recommended before pregnancy if one or more fibroids are inside the uterine cavity, which may prevent a pregnancy from implanting, and increase the risk of miscarriage and/or preterm labor. Some women may choose to have their uterus removed (hysterectomy) if they have heavy periods and severe pelvic pain that does not get better with medical treatment.

Schedule an Appointment

Fibroids can be manageable with the help of your gynecologist and the right treatment options. To learn more from our expert team and discuss your symptoms, contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can fibroids affect the bladder?

Women may experience pressure on the bladder due to fibroids. This can cause issues such as frequent urination.

Can fibroids be detected during a Pap smear?

Uterine fibroids are often detected during a routine pelvic exam, which usually includes a Pap smear.

Can fibroids cause bowel problems?

Yes, some women with uterine fibroids may experience digestive issues such as bloating and constipation. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, they may put pressure on the bowel or intestines.

Can you get fibroids on your ovaries?

Fibroids most commonly develop in the muscular tissues of the uterus. The ovaries are more likely to develop cysts in or on their surface, not fibroids

Can you get pregnant if you have fibroids?

Most women can have a successful pregnancy with fibroids, but the risk of complications is a bit higher, especially for women with large fibroids.

Can you pass fibroids during a period?

It is rare that someone can pass a fibroid during their period. Fibroids usually have to be surgically removed if they are causing pain or complications.

Can you remove fibroids during C section?

Fibroids can sometimes be removed during a C-section but your doctor may recommend waiting until after the pregnancy, depending on your individual case.

Can you remove fibroids without having a hysterectomy?

Yes, for some patients, uterine fibroids may be treated without a hysterectomy. Treatment options may include myomectomy, uterine artery embolization (UAE), endometrial ablation, magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS), and ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation.

Can you see fibroids on a CT scan?

While uterine fibroids may be seen on CT scans, only calcified fibroids often appear with this form of scan. The preferred method for detecting fibroids is an ultrasound or an MRI.

Do fibroids cause ovarian cancer?

While fibroids are non-cancerous growths, studies have shown that uterine fibroids may increase the risk of developing endometrial and ovarian cancer.

Do fibroids feel like menstrual cramps?

For some women, uterine fibroids may cause significant mensural cramping. Fibroid pain may also impact other areas of the body, such as the abdomen, pelvis, back, and legs.

Do fibroids go away on their own?

Some patients with uterine fibroids may not require treatment, as their fibroids may not cause symptoms or shrink in size on their own. However, if symptoms become severe, treatment may be necessary.

Do fibroids show up on ultrasound?

Yes, ultrasound testing is often the first imaging test used to diagnose fibroids.

How do fibroids start?

It is not completely clear what causes fibroids. However, estrogen and progesterone appear to play a major role in their growth.

How do you scan for fibroids?

Ultrasound scans are the most common imaging techniques used to check for fibroids.

How do you test for fibroids?

Doctors may sometimes detect fibroids during a pelvic exam. They may also be detected through ultrasound imaging.

“Carnegie Women’s Health is a first-class facility. I love Dr. Lam and Dr. Gottlieb. I have been seen for OB services as well as aesthetics and bioidentical hormone treatment. Highly recommend.”

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